Veg Out! 6 Simple Ways to Sneak in More VeggiesArticle posted in: FreshStart
When it comes to weight loss, veggies are your secret weapon. That’s because most are naturally low in fat and calories. Plus, they’re full of nutrients your body needs like vitamins A and C plus fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer.
On Nutrisystem, vegetables are categorized as either starchy or non-starchy. While starchy veggies dish out a lot of body-boosting nutrients, they tend to be higher in carbohydrates and calories, so we count them as SmartCarbs. This will help you enjoy their benefits without slowing your weight loss. Examples of starchy veggies include beans, peas, chickpeas, corn, potatoes, lentils and plantains, to name a few.
Non-starchy veggies tend to be lower in calories and include leafy greens, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cauliflower and eggplant. You get the green-light on enjoying these options in whatever quantity works for you, as long as you’re eating at least four servings a day. One serving of non-starchy veggies equates to ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. When choosing canned, look for low or reduced sodium. Need help perfecting portions? We’ve got you covered here.
If you’re having trouble fitting in all of your veggie servings—or you just can’t get enough of the nutrient-packed produce, try these simple tips:
1. Spice Up Your Smoothies
Probably one of the simplest ways to pump up your produce intake is to add veggies to your smoothies. It’s a great way to make sure you eat the greens you’re not so keen on. Try adding veggies to your Nutrisystem® shake mixes. Visit the Recipe section and search “Smoothies” for some great smoothie ideas.
2. Get Creative with Your Entrees
Some veggies make perfect vessels for your favorite dishes (try stuffing bell peppers or portabella mushrooms with your favorite Nutrisystem rice dish). Others demand to be made the main event (did someone say spiralized zucchini with homemade pesto?!). Whatever your preference, work veggies into your Nutrisystem meals for a total weight loss win-win!
3. Prep Your Produce
We know how it is: when you’re hungry, you’ll eat whatever’s on hand. That’s why it’s important to make sure veggies are always at your disposal. Hit the grocery store or farmer’s market on the weekends and load up on fresh produce. Then chop up a large enough amount for the entire week and portion it out into several individual bags or containers. Every morning on your way out, grab a bag or two so that it’s on hand when the mid-afternoon munchies hit at work.
4. Slurp Some Soup
Toss a slew of veggies into a big pot of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, and wallah! You’ve got yourself a veggie free-for-all. Try these three recipes sure to turn up the heat on your soup game.
5. Make Over Your Munchies
Carrots, zucchinis, green beans. Some veggies are just meant to be fries. Try your hand at these tasty eggplant fries, which make for a delicious side dish to your Nutrisystem meals. If crunchy is more your snack style, kick it up in the kitchen with some tasty kale chips—just spray kale leaves with zero calorie cooking spray, toss them in your favorite seasonings, and bake them on a cooking sheet at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or so.
This one’s a bit obvious. But it can’t be said enough: adding a side salad to each of your meal occasions is a great way to fit in your veggies. Plus, all of the fabulous fiber found in veggies will help keep you feeling fuller. Try making a few mason jar salads on a Sunday night, so you’re fully stocked for the week.